Nya is a single mom and dedicated teacher at a high-poverty city school, determined to give her teenaged son Omari opportunities that her students will never have. When an altercation with a teacher at his private school threatens Omari’s future, Nya has to fight a system that’s against him in any environment. A searing, eloquent, and deeply compassionate look at a broken education system, the moments we are pushed to our limits, and the ferocity of one parent’s love.
potent… illuminating… Pipeline reaffirms this playwright’s compelling vision.
Brilliant, riveting, important
A must-see play
A vivid drama that acutely breaks down the school-to-prison pipeline
Studio has compiled resource lists for antiracist action, understanding structural racism, and the school-to-prison pipeline, among others. Read on for greater understanding and context about the issues explored in Pipeline.Read More
Studio Theatre is delighted to welcome Awoye Timpo, who will be directing Pipeline, the third show in our main series. In this interview with Assistant Director Marielle Burt, Awoye discusses the power of Dominique Morriseau’s plays, the artists that inform her directing approach, and the resonance of this story in an election year.Read More
Dominique Morisseau writes plays that carry “pieces and shreds and glimpses of people who have raised [her], who she loves and cares for fiercely,” her frequent collaborator, director Kamilah Forbes, explains. These pieces of real life, knit together with imagination and fierce love—as well as a desire to carve a space for their stories on the American stage—have defined Morisseau’s writing thus far.Read More
The Pulitzer-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks’s work illuminated the Black experience in America in the 20th century. Learn more about her terse and urgent “We Real Cool,” which recurs in Pipeline as Nya tries to rescue her son from a fate as chilling as the one foreshadowed in Brooks’ poem.Read More
Studio has hosted several conversations with organizations in our community around the content and themes of Pipeline. At each, we’ve solicited resources—articles, organizations, context—from our participants for the audience at the conversation and beyond. Here are descriptions of these discussions, and the resources our panelists have suggested.A summary of DC’s Student Fair Access to School Act (2018) which aims to reduce the use of exclusionary discipline by limiting out-of-school suspension of students to serious safety incidents and bans its utilization in high school for minor offensesRead More
Dominique Morisseau wanted to explore the school-to-prison-pipeline, described by the writer Ijeoma Oluo as “the alarming number of black and brown children who are funneled directly and indirectly from our schools into our prison industrial complex, contributing to devastating levels of mass incarceration.” How can we combat a vicious cycle of systemic oppression and economic exploitation?Read More
Nya, a public school teacher at an overcrowded and underfunded city high school, writes the words of Gwendolyn Brooks’s 1959 poem “We Real Cool” on the board for her students. What was once her favorite lesson plan has become an anxiety trip as the poem now has a face: that of her seventeen-year-old son Omari. Nya believed that she had saved him from the school-to-prison pipeline when she and her ex-husband Xavier sent Omari to a majority white boarding school upstate. However, when she gets a call from the school informing her that Omari got into a fight with his English teacher during class, she worries that Brooks’ prophecy of doomed youth is about to come true.Read More